by Lim Kit Siang, DAP Advisor and Parliamentary Leader
The statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will investigate the double-tracking rail project that has resulted in more than RM1 billion losses, as reported by Malaysian Insider "Nazri confirms MACC to probe double-tracking project” yesterday, is intriguing and perplexing.
The Malaysian Insider reported:
The MACC investigations come after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) announced last week it wanted to probe the RM6 billion double-tracking project when the Auditor-General's Report said poor project management led to the losses.
"MACC will investigate PAC‘s minutes. PAC is the parliament’s committee so certainly ... As I have said, MACC has informed me that they will investigate based on the allegations made by the PAC so there will be no dispute so don’t worry,” the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told reporters in Parliament.
Nazri said that the MACC had assured him that they would pursue the PAC’s recommendations.
"The fact that it was tabled in the Parliament and there is no debate about it because the PAC is a extension of the Parliament and their decision is our decision,” he added.
MACC cannot possibly be probing the double-tracking rail project based on PAC proceedings as the PAC has yet to start investigation into the RM1.43 billion escalation of the Rawang-Ipoh double-tracking contract and there is neither any PAC meeting nor PAC minutes on it.
What is this phantom PAC proceeding on the Rawang-Ipoh double tracking project that Nazri and MACC are talking about?
Former Transport Minister, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy had mentioned that the double-tracking project was “three times the size” of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) when he appeared before the PAC on PAC probe into the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal.
As Chan had told the PAC: “No, it is not the biggest (project under the Ministry of Transport). Double-tracking project is much bigger. It is 12 almost 13 billion? It is three times the size of this project (PKFZ).”
Is this tangential reference by Chan in his testimony about the double-tracking project before the PAC sufficient to found a MACC investigation purportedly based on the PAC minutes?
In any event, why is it necessary for the MACC to wait and depend on the PAC minutes and recommendations to initiate anti-corruption investigations?
Or was Nazri actually referring to the calls by UMNO MPs for MACC investigation into the current Transport Minister and MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat for purchasing four 20-year-old diesel multiple unit (DMUs) trains at RM30 million for the Rawang-Ipoh double-tracking route?
Nazri should make a proper clarification.